Burna Boy says, “I told them.” Who did he tell? And how well did they hear?
“When the wind blows, the fowl’s anus will be exposed” – in relation to this, the popular adage describes the event of one’s boastful life’s experience, having secured all there is and then, exposed naked only to see there’s no more substance in your delivery.
Burna Boy is undoubtedly brilliant in his craft, music style, vocal rendering, and a host of his achievements ranging from the Headies to Grammies affirm this stance. However, craft is subjective to everyone and I see his craft transcend from the African giant personae who was everyone’s point of pinnacle to a falling giant.
It is no news to the extent, that Nigerian music lovers propelled their love beyond borders to the singer and his work. This is evident in the streams, social media support, and even concert attendance. However, his braggadocious ways spell a more critical part of his music than the sounds of beat and tempo he produces.
A few days to his 7th album release, an interview made the airwaves, showing the singer tagging the indigenous Afrobeats to a form of music with ‘no substance’.
In his defence, some noted he was misunderstood, citing that Afrobeats is all about “feel-good” and not narrating real-life experiences, unlike other music genres.
Meanwhile, others said it was an outright insult to the nation’s pride and a disgust to the other artistes who put in efforts to make the sound, global.
Of course, both truths can co-exist, however, when looking at the consistencies of his speeches, one will understand this is coming from a larger part of the latter. He is who he is. He is fearless, but not too thoughtful and reserved.
Upon the controversy, Burna released his album, ‘I Told Them‘; a detailed narration of his personal journeys, telling the world his defined fusion sounds is about story-telling and not without ‘substance’. The project communicates his innermost feelings; his perception, gaze, about his music world, its progress, and more importantly how he views his heritage.
The rave to hear what he had in store in retrospect to his “know-all” about music brilliance was met below standard. He is known for being a braggadocio, yet he delivered African Giant, Lagos Party, Soke and so, the expectations were the same.
There was not much substance to work with. It was a 15-track detail of Burna being a more negative part of who the world celebrated as Twice As Tall.
Perhaps, he could have viewed it from a point of positive ‘growth’, but what was dished out was nothing short of it. It was a bodywork of entitlement.
Burna feels that despite his outstanding contributions to the portrayal of Nigerian music culture, Nigerians don’t praise him enough.
Working hard and earning money might be painful if he doesn’t receive the respect he feels he is entitled to. This was outrightly displayed in Thanks which had J. Cole in it.
In City Boys, Burna dropped a thumping record about confidence and proof, incredibly dynamic, with each measured halt heightening the enjoyment of the outcome.
Giza with Seyi Vibez was all about giving the young chap a space to shine while reclaiming dominance in the second verse.
Other tracks had their stories too, but the major question that begs, is, did Burna Boy really tell them with this project and did his message deliver the intended information? Or he is just being misunderstood?
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